HED: CAIRO: Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid held a session of talks on Saturday with senior Russian officials on the sidelines of meetings of the Russian economic forum which kicked off in Petersburg late on Saturday, reported the State Information Service.
Rachid was reported to have met with Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko to discuss the Russian industrial zone in Egypt.
Plans for the Russian industrial zone in Egypt moved a step closer as the Russian Economic Development and Trade Ministry named the first wave of companies setting up shop there, including Gaz Group, Mig, Soyuzmedprom and St. Petersburg Aviation.
In line with a memorandum of understanding penned in April, Egypt is providing these firms with land in Borg El-Arab, as well as 80 percent of the cost of training workers there, SIS reported.
Rachid was reported to have said he was attending the St. Petersburg forum to get to know these companies better and hammer out the logistics of their move into Borg El-Arab, the site of the industrial zone.
The zone is being set up in a barren desert– cold in winter as it is near the sea, and scorchingly hot in summer, the minsiter told reporters.
The Russian firms are expected to set up operations in the zone over the next 12 to 18 months, Rachid noted. The products of the Russian zone will be exported to Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
He noted that the zone is expected to bring in about $ 500 million investments to Egypt and increase exports to $ 700 million within the coming few years.